Police: "All factors" probed in crash that killed supervisor

The investigation into an Alameda crash that killed Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan will look into all potential causes, the city's police chief said Thursday.

"There's an open investigation. We're looking at all factors that could have contributed to this horrible incident," said Alameda Police Chief Nishant Joshi.

The supervisor died after she was hit by an SUV while walking her dog along Alameda's south shore. She's the island city's fourth traffic fatality this year.

"Our beloved supervisor. One death is too many. This number is just appallingly unacceptable," said Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

The crash happened at about 8 a.m. Wednesday near Shore Line Drive and Grand Street. The supervisor was hit by an SUV heading east. She died at a hospital.

Joshi said the woman behind the wheel stopped afterward and is cooperating with police.

Well-wishers have left flowers and candles in memory of Chan at the crash site as well as the county administration building in Oakland where the supervisors meet.

Chan spent 30 years in public service, becoming the first Asian American supervisor in Alameda County. She was also the first woman and Asian American majority leader in the state assembly. 

"You know Wilma, she was quiet, a woman of few words, but well-chosen, powerful and impactful words," Ashcraft said.

Former San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy credits Chan with saving San Leandro Hospital.

"Wilma Chan was a fierce and determined and accomplished advocate," Cassidy said. "The issues she cared about were seniors, children, the uninsured."

Alameda is trying to reduce and eliminate traffic deaths as part of its "Vision Zero" strategy.

Four people also died in traffic collisions in Alameda in 2020, compared to an average of two deaths in previous years.